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Gadget Guide : 2011

2010 was a successful year in terms of technology. People did not run out of gift ideas for tech-savvies worldwide, the most common of which was of course, the iPad. Gadget lovers can hope that 2011 is just as bountiful. Gizmo freaks can hope for the king brands of technology to come up with more phones, tablets, computers and gaming consoles than ever.

Blackberry Playbook - Research In Motion - RIM's answer to the flow of tablets worldwide. Set to release in the early half of this year, this tablet is packed with a seven inch WSVGA (1024x600) screen, consisting of 2 HD cameras, 1080p video HD playback and portability of Blackberry smartphone applications. Alongside enabling WiFi and bluetooth, the Playbook supports multi-touch, Adobe AIR and Flash.

3D Sony Vaio - The world of 3D laptops is limited, and Sony plans to take advantage. In September 2010, Sony unveiled a prototype with a 16:9 screen with remarkable angles and colour reproduction. It will also be able to 'upscale' 2D films from Blu-ray to 3D. Although glasses to view 3D aren't needed, they will be provided free with every purchase.

Verizon iPhone - Verizon and Apple have joined to make a million dreams come true. On February 10th, Verizon Wireless is bringing a CDMA [non Long Term Evolution (LTE)] version of iPhone 4. The iPhone is basically the same, not counting Verizon connectivity. CDMA requires different configuration of antennas, therefore the phone will have a new antenna design. A big creation feature-wise is five-user WiFi hotspot functionality.

Nintendo 3DS - A handheld gaming console which enables 3D gameplay without the need for glasses. Set to release February 26th, this is the answer to your ultimate gameboy fantasies. The 3DS will have a screen of 800x240 pixels with pre-loaded applications that will include an Internet Browser, 3DS camera and Nintendo eShop. The battery is set to last 3-8 hours depending on types of games and range of brightness. The system will also have 3D movie playback capability. Another difference from the original Nintendo DS is the inclusion of the analogue stick, for better gaming.

PlayStation Phone - Sony combines its two most successful handheld creations - Ericsson and PSP - to form this phone. This gadget is highly anticipated worldwide, although a certain release date is still unknown. People can only hope that it is early this year. Backed by Android 3.0, PSP 2 has multi-touchpad for joystick and a custom Sony Marketplace in order to purchase and download games. The screen is somewhere from 3.7 to 4.1 inches, and the device offers 512 MB of RAM and 1 GB of ROM. Instead of memory card Slots, it has microSD cards.

Besides these, Nokia has promised to outshine Apple and Blackberry so tech freaks worldwide should definitely look forward to saving their money in 2011!

By Padya Paramita


PIRACY 101

We all know downloading stuff for free is an infringement on copyright law. It's been talked over a lot here and abroad. However much we sympathise with it, it doesn't stop us from downloading. Why? Well, you can't get original games here in Bangladesh, the ones with a separate booklet giving backstory, controls, vehicle and armament overviews. All that we buy over here, are downloaded stuff written into CDs. Some of them don't work, others give us viruses. As for the movies, by the time they hit the shelves of trendy, overpriced places, everyone we know has seen them. While we lament the presence of a few decent movie theatres here in Bangladesh, RS gives you the [relatively] safe way to go about downloading.

The Basics
There are two types of downloading. The first is direct download, the other is torrent download. Without going into the tech jargon, BitTorrent is simply a peer-to-peer file sharing protocol, one that allows a file from one computer to transfer to another computer.

For direct download, people use fileserve.com, mediafire.com, etc, which are filehosts. Usually compressed versions of movies, TV shows and animes are uploaded to these sites and the links are posted in various forums and blogs. To find 300MB movies of pretty good quality, all you have to do is search “300MB movies blog” on google and you'll find blogs where the links are given. It's pretty safe, since it is a mode of earning money for the blog owners and they run a clean business. Once you click the link, you download the files, which are usually in .rar format. That means they are compressed to smaller sizes. You'll need WinZip or 7zip programs to decompress them and use them.

The first thing you need for downloading through torrent is a BitTorrent client. There are several clients in circulation; uTorrent is one of the good ones. Once you've downloaded it, then you need to find sites where the torrent links are given. There are sites such as demonoid.ME, which is usually quite safe and you have to be a member to download. Membership is attained by asking a current member for an invitation. This shouldn't be a problem, as some of your friends are probably already members. Isohunt.com doesn't require you to become a member. It is relatively safe and quite popular here in Bangladesh, but you have to watch your step. Thepiratebay.org is also used by a lot of people. Be warned though, the ads can sometimes be a little risqué.

The Download
After this, it's pretty simple. You search for what you want and click the link of something that catches your eye. A page then opens, describing the files the torrent contains and listing seeders. Seeders are other people who have downloaded the torrent and decided to help out in future upload to other peers. If you download a file and don't move it from the folder you downloaded it to, you will also automatically become a seeder. The more seeders, the faster you will download. It is also a good idea to check out the files in the description and their extensions. A movie file, which should have .mkv or .mp4, having a .exe extension is usually a signal for a virus.

Also, this page features comments from previous downloaders. Here's where you have to look carefully. Read people's comments to get ideas about whether the download is safe or not, whether it works or not. People even give ratings about audio and video quality when it comes to movies and TV shows. A torrent with quite a few positive comments is generally a safe one.

Once the background checks are done, click on the link that says “download this torrent”. This will download the torrent file, basically the link between your computer and the peers you are downloading from. When you click the torrent file that's now in your computer, it'll open in uTorrent and your download will start.

A few words
The big forums with direct download links for all sorts of entertainment [music, movies, anime, you get the idea] are called Warez sites. The forums are huge, as you can imagine. Check out warez-bb.org, it's as good a place to start as any.

For TV shows, sometimes a good print of the show is uploaded within the week of its original air date. Since it is new, there aren't any comments on the torrent. To make sure you download a safe torrent, stick to the same publisher who gave good torrents for previous episodes. The file name for their torrents are similar for every episode, the only variation is the episode number.

For games, you get .iso files. This basically means, they've uploaded the whole game DVD for you. What you need to do, is write them in a DVD and then use that to install the game conventionally, as you would from any DVD you usually buy from your local shop. Or you can download softwares, such as Gizmo, which allows you to mount .iso files to your computer as a virtual CD/DVD drive, meaning it cuts down the time you have to spend writing them on to fresh DVDs.

We hope you guys do understand that you are breaking the law by downloading stuff like this. But since you guys are not going to stop, you might as well do it safely. Be aware though, if you take downloaded stuff abroad and get caught, you will face legal consequences. Those FBI warnings aren't jokes, you know.

Download safe.

By Dr Who

 


 

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